Peter the Great

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Peter the Great made many reforms in the interest of Russia such as the reorganization of the Government, in the military, the economy and also in the appearance of his social structure to reflect western ideals. After a visit West did he decide that Russia was not suitable for the modern advancements of their neighboring European nations. Not only did Peter adopt the standard of living of the western European world; his efforts sped up Russia's development greatly.

In the westernization of Russia, Peter made a more stable government. For example, he created a board of administrators to deal with certain functions of the government to make it run more smoothly. These ideas of "colleges" were borrowed from Western ideas. To make a more law-abiding community he divided Russia into 50 provinces. He wanted a sense of civic duty unto the people. In his military, he recruited peasants to make a 210,000 standing army. His biggest contribution was the creation of the first Russian navy. His military forces would allow him to become a great power in Europe.

Creating an Army and Navy was expensive and Peter sought to find a different way other than taxation to get the money he needed. Another Western idea came from the concept of mercantilism. Peter tried to increase exports while making new industries such as the Iron mines in the Urals.

Peter sought to reform every aspect of Russia. Through the Russian Orthodox Church, he gained domination of state over the church. Peter established a procurator who stood as a representative of the state. He abolished the religious position of the patriarch and creates the Holy Synod who made all the decisions for the church.

In the social aspects on the country he was strict on the ideals of Western Europe. Appearances were important to him. He cut off beards and coats of nobles to make them look more European. Books on Etiquette were made. Women benefited from Peters reforms. They were no longer required to wear veils....
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